Drama

The Drama department at George Salter Academy consists of a highly skilled team of practitioners who are equally passionate about the educational value of Drama in giving all young people a voice to express themselves. Drama is a very popular subject at the Academy that offers different pathways in Key Stage 4 and 5 depending on the preferred learning style of our students.

The subject is delivered within two bespoke spaces including the Green Room Theatre, with a 200 raked seating that is fully equipped with a professional lighting rig and sound system. There is also a more intimate Drama studio adjacent to the theatre that is used for smaller scale projects and performances.

Our Key Concepts

Curriculum and Impact

The Drama curriculum at GSA has been designed to develop all students’ aesthetic, cultural and personal sensibilities, allowing them to experiment and grow within a creative and inclusive setting. It is the department’s intention to expose young people to thematic concerns and issues that are relevant and pertinent to their life stage and develop a sense of tolerance, empathy and appreciation of other cultures, values and ideals; whilst feeling empowered to challenge and question different perceptions. A significant aspect of the Drama curriculum is centred on the power of oracy and the nuances in communication both verbal and non-verbal to help young people process, interpret and respond through the lens and viewpoints of others. 

The Drama curriculum contains interleaved schemes of work that focus on the three areas of devising, scripted and theatre makers with a clear line of action from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5 to aid retention, consolidation of knowledge and lifelong learning. Coverage includes the three subject concepts of an actor, director and designer that underpin a spiralled approach to the sequencing of topics. The Drama curriculum has been refined and updated to reflect the experiences of young people and allow all students to see themselves within their learning to promote a sense of inclusion. Further still, the curriculum aims to promote collaborative interaction amongst students and foster a sense of self- worth to equip them in all aspects of their later lives. The curriculum offers students opportunities to write critically and develop into perceptive audience members who are able to demonstrate how theoretical knowledge and practical application fuse together. As students move through the curriculum, they continue to build upon their devising with a focus on building knowledge of more advanced theatre practitioners and genres. They are exposed to a more challenging canon of set texts that introduces them to a wider range of playwrights and social, cultural, historical and/or political context of the literature. Increased opportunities are offered to prepare students for a career within the Performing Arts industry with links made with higher education institutes, arts practitioners and organisations. 

The intended impact of the curriculum is to encourage students to become resilient, confident and versatile performers, directors, designers and theatre critics. This bank of knowledge will in turn allow them to pursue higher education, open doors to arts opportunities within professional settings and gain lifelong qualifications that will prepare them for the next phase in their Performing Arts career; either behind the scenes and/or on the stage. Each year, the Key Stage 4 and 5 curriculum pathways are reviewed to ensure that the qualifications offered including GCSE Drama, BTEC Performing Arts L2 and L3 are fit for purpose so a personalised curriculum can be offered. Impact is not only reserved for the curriculum. The enrichment opportunities including Arts Award, LAMDA exams and the whole school production are equally designed to contribute to student's aesthetic and personal development. Soft skill development is also a priority within the teaching of Drama and the young people’s abilities to express themselves within a creative forum. Equipping our young people to become well-rounded good citizens as part of the wider community. Essentially, there are no glass ceilings within the Drama curriculum. 

Excellence in Performing Art (EPA) Scholarship

George Salter Academy can provide 20 places per year for students who have an aptitude for Music, Dance or Drama.

Contact

Mrs J. Clark (Head of Drama), email: [email protected]

"Drama is a subject where you can open up, share your ideas and create something unforgettable."

"I am inspired through Drama and it helps me when I have had a bad day. The teachers help to bring us together to perform and enhance our ideas. The department brings out the true personalities of all the students."

"The GSA Drama department offers excellent opportunities to all students such as performing to a live audience and taking trips to watch other performances."

Drama offers an interesting range of topics and styles of Drama in Key Stage 3 to encourage students to explore the subject through the eyes of an actor, director and designer. In designing our curriculum we have aimed to provide many different ways of exploring drama through devising, scripted and technical aspects of the subject.

Careful choices have been made about the issues and ideas explored through lessons so that they reflect what is happening in the world around us and allow all students to become critical audience members and engaging performers.

For every topic, a homework booklet has been created to develop literacy skills and encourage participants to evaluate the work produced. Typical topics that you can expect to study include:

Year 7

New Beginnings, The Fog, Introduction to Practitioners, Our Teacher is a Troll, The Demon Headmaster, Devising from Stimulus

Year 8

Behind the Scenes, Darkwood Manor, Bringing Texts to Life, Staging Script and Practitioners, Critiquing Live Theatre

Year 9

Devising from Stimulus, Performing Scripted Material-Monologues, duologues and group work, Exploration of DNA.

GCSE Drama

Students can also study GCSE Drama which focuses upon developing a breadth of subject knowledge within the performance strategies, mediums and elements of drama, as well as developing students understanding and interpretation of topics, scripts, characters and performance appreciation skills.

GCSE Drama will engage students through the use of their vivid imaginations, focus on practical work which reflects modern theatre and develop skills that will support progression to further study drama and a wide range of other subjects. The qualification has three components, one that focuses on devising, one that focuses on performing in or designing for a performance from a text and one that focuses on practical understanding of a performance text. Students will be assessed through a combination of internal moderation, live examiner marking and external marking of their written paper. The GCSE Drama components are as follows:

Component One: Devising - Students will create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus. They will analyse and evaluate the devising process and performance through the development of a written and/or oral portfolio of between 1500-2000 words.

Component Two: Performance from Text - Students will either perform in and/or design for two key extracts from a play that will be presented to an external examiner.

Component Three: Theatre Makers in Practice (Written Paper) - Students will complete a 1 hour 45 mins written paper based on a play they have studied and a theatre production they have watched.

With Cultural Capital Opportunities:

2018-2019

  • Backstage tour at Birmingham Rep
  • Splendid’s Dr Faustus at St Michael’s School  
  • English and Drama Cross Curricular Blood Brothers, Birmingham Hippodrome
  • National Youth Theatre auditions

Whole School Productions

2016- Les Miserables and Grease

2017- West Side Story.

2018- Sister Act and Chicago

2019- High School Musical  

At KS5, the Drama Department offers several courses. Please view our dedicated Sixth Form section for more information on the courses available.